Once upon a time in a land far removed from here stood a mule and a horse in a meadow filled with luscious grasses and sparkling waters. Neither animal had much to do so they both ate and drank to their hearts content. The mule told the horse that this was the life to live. There could be nothing better. The horse just neighed and kept eating.
Eventually the day came that the stream dried up and the grass turned brown and inedible. The horse knew enough to trust that his owner would soon come to care for him. The mule, on the other hand said he knew of another pasture where the water always flowed and the grasses never withered. He was desirous to seek it on his own. The horse, being the wiser of the two tried to stop his companion. He ran ahead of his friend and blocked his path. But the mule, being stubborn and bull headed simply lowered his head and butted the horse out of his way.
In short order, the animals owner did arrive. He called his horse and his mule. Only the horse responded. The mule had set out on his own search. The farmer told his faithful horse that he would lead him to a pasture where the waters never stopped flowing and the grasses were always green.
"But you must follow me closely. The trail is narrow and twisted. The mountain on one side is steep and the valley floor is far below. Follow in my steps and you will arrive safely," said the farmer.
The horse recognized that he would soon be in the place the mule had described. As the path grew narrow and dangerous, the horse was careful to step exactly where his owner lead him. And indeed the way was treacherous. Only the careful leading of the wise master kept them safe from sure destruction. Often the horse wondered how the mule could possibly find his way -- or arrive safely to the place they were headed.
At long last, the path once again descended into a valley. Indeed it was flowing with a continuous stream of living waters. Indeed the grasses were the lushest, richest, greenest grasses the horse had ever seen. But there was no mule to be seen. Days passed and the mule never arrived. Weeks went by and still no mule. One day the horse was munching his grass close to the foot of the mountain which the treacherous path had circumvented. He absentmindedly bumped into an old leather bag laying on its side. There lay the mule, in the green pasture where the water never stopped flowing and the grass was always green -- but life was not in him. He was broken and torn and withered and dead for the path had not been kind to the feet of the unsuspecting fool of an animal.
Often we see what we think is the right path to take. We may attempt to venture that way. But the Lord always puts blocks before us if it is not His way. He will not allow us to wander in our own ways without first attempting to turn us from our error.
We have a choice. We can go God's way and live, or we can go the way of the fool and risk certain death.
Are you a mule or a horse? Will you follow your own paths or let God be your guide?
I pray you'll choose God's way. Amen